The Government is set to introduce an overhaul of speed limits on the country’s roads.

Limits are to come down on single-lane country roads and in urban areas, while slight increases are expected on some motorways and dual carriageways.

According to a report in this morning's Irish Independent, the Minister for Transport, Séamus Brennan, said he would introduce the changes next June.

Mr Brennan said he broadly favoured the findings of a recent Government review group that recommended speed limit changes throughout the country.

New proposals will also affect motorcyclists, requiring those with provisional licences to undergo basic training before being allowed on public roads.

In another development, the penalty points scheme for driving offences is being extended from today, to include the wearing of seat belts.

Drivers will automatically pick up two points if they or any passenger under 17 are not wearing a belt. Higher fines are also being introduced alongside the measure.

Labour call for traffic corps

This morning the Labour Party criticised the Government for not establishing a dedicated traffic corps to help enforce legislation governing road users.

The Party's spokesman on Justice, Joe Costello, said the Government should state whether or not it had abandoned its commitment to set up the Traffic Corps.

He said the extension of the penalty points system today, while welcome, would place additional work on the Gardaí who were all ready overstretched carrying out other duties.